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Message of the World Puppetry Day

A true legend

Long fiery line in the sky cuts through the space and disappears in the depths of the Universe. It reappears and vanishes again. It’s Prometheus with a torch in his hand searching wearily in the darkness for those to whom he may pass it. The torch in Prometheus’ hand is in fact a Burning Puppet, the gift of the gods who sent the reflection of themselves to the human race not to be forgoten. The human race humbly accepted it to remember the gods, to create their images as well as own changing dependence on them. Nevertheless, we have a problem. Let’s not to pretend we can fail to notice the conservation of energy law. Should we respect it, the material of the Burning Puppet will burn down and change into ashes. Luckily, the Puppet burns without ceasing to exist as it permutes through the faith of those who meet the Burning Puppet. A recycled image of gods is thus created, an objectified idea animated by people and fascinating by fire, which illuminates spaces so we don’t feel so lonely in the Universe. Henceforth mankind learned about the benignity of light and warmth of fire, obsession with creation, the metaphor of its permanency in a piece of art and finally the idea of solidarity, which is reminded in shared spaces in moments of ritual providence. Here on Earth the baton of the Burning Puppet is continually carried by generations of lucky people who are scorched but not burnt by its blazing warmth. It is a never-ending run with the message, which is constant in spite of the length of time and adversity of our times. Places and their mutual proximity where the Burning Puppet appears, its changing image are seemingly accidental and the reason behind their recurrent appearance is known only to gods. In surprise we stare at those who got to hold the baton of the Burning Puppet from their predecessors and carry it to the end of their lot in order to pass it on to the others. Prometheus is not likely to return. We are too sensible to take notice of his return once again. Therefore let’s defend those who were given the chance to take over, carry and pass on the Burning Puppet. It is evidently the only chance to keep its fire burning.

Petr Matásek

This year, UNIMA has chosen the great Czech scenographer Petr Matásek to write and illustrate the message of the World Puppetry Day, which will be celebrated on March 21th 2009. Let's remember that UNIMA will celebrate in Prague, during the month of May, its 80 years of existence.

Petr Matásek
Famous scenographer born in Prague, head designer for Theatre DRAK and AlFA. His work has been acclaimed by the critics.
Invited to give masterclasses and workshops in more than 20 countries, he has also received many awards and international tributes